We love senior equines at TEVA! These dignified older ladies and gentlemen are full of personality, wisdom, and experience. That’s not to say that even those in their late 20s can’t conjure up enough spunk to keep us on our toes!
While, it seems that this group’s covers a wide age range with extremes in activity level and performance, vets typically use the word “Senior” for horses 14+ in age. We know some senior horses that really slow down in their late teens, while there are others that are going strong in their late 20s; it all depends on the horse! TEVA’s goal is to keep all of our senior equine clients healthy, comfortable, active, and happy!
Seniors are the fastest growing segment of the horse population. Better dentistry, advances in vaccine technology, targeted deworming, improved diets, and an evolving understanding of older horse health care are coming together to keep your beloved friends comfortable longer. Every day we see more and more horses celebrating their 30th birthdays, and a growing group celebrating their 40th birthday! And just like in human medicine, it is the older segment of a population that needs more intensive health care and a prevention of illness.
Senior Athletes (13-22)
One of our favorite groups, the older athletes, either the foxhunter or school master, have a unique place. Like you, we know it is imperative to keep them moving comfortably and not causing long-term damage. There are several smart strategies available to keep your senior athlete sound and safely extend their serviceable career.
Recommended Services: Annual Exams, Oral Exams, Vaccinations, 12-24 month Dental Floats, Targeted Deworming/Fecal Egg Counts, Soundness Evaluations, Farrier Consultations, Anti-Arthritis Medications.
These horses usually have a few rides left. And we can help you ensure your horse is comfortable and managed appropriately. And although these horses may be slowing down, it is important that they remain engaged and active. As they get older, taking the time to recognize age-related tumor and metabolic disease like Cushings is very important.
Recommended Services: Annual Exams, Oral Exams, Vaccinations, 12-24 month Dental Floats, Targeted Deworming/Fecal Egg Counts, Soundness Evaluations, Farrier Consultations, Metabolic Disease/ Endocrine Testing, Anti-Arthritis Medications.
Most Senior (25+)
This is our fastest growing population of horses. Constantly improving veterinary care and science, improved vaccinations, better nutrition, older-horse dentistry, arthritis management, Cushings medications and management, and targeted deworming have all come together to keep your beloved horse healthier longer. But older horses require more care than younger horses (like their human counterparts). Skin tumors and metabolic diseases like Cushings should be recognized early, and when addressed early, can often be managed.
Recommended Services: Annual Exams, Oral Exams, Vaccinations, 12-24 month Dental Floats, Targeted Deworming/Fecal Egg Counts, Soundness Evaluations, Farrier Consultations, Metabolic Disease / Endocrine Testing, Anti-Arthritis Medications.
Senior Questions Answered
Even though your older athlete is no longer in work, he still has as many needs, and arguably more needs, than any other age of horse.
We are often asked:
My older horse never goes anywhere, why should I vaccinate?
Yes, there are threats like rabies and tetanus that never go away.
My horse has been getting the same vaccine for 20 years, he must have immunity by now?
Horses do not maintain strong antibiody titers. So they must be vaccinated annually to remain protected.
The farrier says we can skip trims, maybe get 8-12 weeks out of a trim?
Almost never can a horse go for prolonged periods without farrier attention without cause slow, subtle damage. Although this determination will vary horse to horse, it is rare for a horse to not grow a damagingly long toe at 8 week intervals. Add in increased potential for chipped feet,
The dentist says my horse has no more teeth. Can skip floats?
Never. There probably aren’t horses without teeth and all horses need dental attention. Your veterinarian should work with you and your horse to determine the most appropriate plan. It may involve more check-ups than floats but your older horse needs the help.